Skip to main content
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Apply now! Earn your bachelor's degree at El Centro. More information »

Introduction 

The Master of Science in Biology program serves those interested in advanced training in applied or basic biological research and teaching.  The program also provides a basis for further graduate or professional studies.  The M.S. in Biology is broadly based, allowing students to tailor their courses to suit their interests.  Laboratory skills are integral to many Biology careers, thus students are encouraged to include lab courses in their program of study. Faculty in the M.S. in Biology program have expertise in a range of sub-disciplines including Ecology, Organismal, Cell, and Molecular Biology.  All newly admitted students matriculate in the Fall semester.

Department Website

Admission to the Program 

Requirements for Admission to the Biology M.S. program are:

  • A Bachelors degree in Biology or the course equivalent; including two semesters each of General Biology, General Chemistry and Physics, and one semester each of Cell Biology, Ecology, Genetics, Organic Chemistry and Precalculus Mathematics or Statistics.
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75, with a GPA of 3.0.
  • A 1-2 page statement of Goals and Objectives written by you to demonstrate your writing skills and outlining your academic and professional goals as well as the reasons for selecting the Biology M.S. program.
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic or professional references who are able to assess your potential for success in graduate study.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores are not required; however test scores may be submitted to supplement your application.

Provisional Admission may be granted to applicants who lack 2-3 of the required undergrad courses or whose science GPA is less than 3.0.  Decisions regarding provisional admission are made on a case-by-case basis.

Degree Requirements 

All graduate students are required to take BIO 405- Biological Literature and at least one course that includes a laboratory or field component. For students pursuing the Research Thesis track, the research thesis fulfills the latter requirement.  Beyond these minimal requirements, all course work is chosen by the student to reflect his/her interests, providing maximum flexibility.  All 400 level Biology courses carry graduate credit.  The College of Graduate Studies and Research (CGSR) also allow students to apply up to 10 credits of select 300 level courses (indicated by an asterisk preceding the course number) to the credit requirement for the degree. 

A maximum of 9 hours of transfer graduate credit can be applied to the requirements for the M.S. degree.  The transfer credits must be approved by both the CGSR and the Biology Department.

The Biology Department allows students to apply up to 9 credits of graduate courses from other select NEIU programs toward their Biology degree.  The Biology Graduate Advisor must pre-approve all course work from other NEIU departments. 

All students prepare a graduate portfolio that is assessed three times during the course of the program.

Courses 

There are three, degree tracks, Non-Thesis, Library Thesis and Research Thesis.  Admitted students are required to choose their track prior to the first evaluation of the Graduate Portfolio (see below).

Non-Thesis - this option is recommended for students who desire a more flexible approach to graduate training in Biology, and who are not interested in research.  Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate course work, including BIO 405- Biological Literature (3 cr.), at least one course that includes a laboratory or field component, and the professional/academic portfolio.

Library Thesis - this option is recommended for students who are interested in exploring a particular topic through literature research.  Students pursuing the Library Thesis track must complete a minimum of 34 credit hours of graduate course work, including BIO 405- Biological Literature (3 cr.), at least one course that includes a laboratory or field component, and BIO 497x- Library Thesis (4 cr. total).

Research Thesis - this option is recommended for individuals who are interested in a career in biological research, are working in applied fields of Biology or are interested in further graduate/professional studies.  Students pursuing the Research Thesis track must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of graduate course work, including BIO 405- Biological Literature (3 cr) and BIO 499x- Research Thesis (6 cr. total).

Program Contact Information 

For more information regarding the Biology Graduate Program contact the Graduate Advisor, Dr. Mary Kimble at 773-442-5727 or m-kimble@neiu.edu.

Biology

Back to Top